Thinking of migrating to the cloud? Avoid the common traps

By Jake Madders, Co-founder and Director of Hyve Managed Hosting.

  • 1 month ago Posted in

Many businesses view cloud migration as a one-click upgrade, but the reality is that it's a far more complex task. Moving to the cloud, whether from on-premises or from another cloud environment, involves a range of considerations. Careful planning can ensure a smooth transition that maximises cost savings and minimises downtime. This article explores common pitfalls made by businesses when migrating to the cloud and highlights actions that can be taken to mitigate the industry’s biggest challenges, such as vendor lock-in, security risks, data privacy concerns and spiralling costs.


Rushing the migration process

Starting at the very beginning, avoiding the temptation of rushing into the migration process is critical. Thorough planning is essential, and without it, you’ll likely see potential outages, higher costs and even compatibility issues or security breaches.


With already over 35 billion reported known records breached so far this year, security should be at the forefront of all business strategies to avoid becoming one of these figures. Therefore, be sure to research your options, if needed, consult cloud experts, and find the solution that best suits your business needs before migrating to ensure a smooth transition.


Reliance on a single public cloud provider

Many companies these days migrate solely to a public cloud, unaware of potential limitations. While a public cloud is perceived as a cost-effective option with its pay-as-you-go model, unforeseen data access, transfer, and egress fees might quickly add up and eat into budgets. This scenario often results in companies becoming locked into and overly dependent on a single cloud infrastructure provider.


Before embarking on your cloud migration journey, it's important to carefully consider all the implications of vendor lock-in. Partnering with a managed service provider (MSP) at this stage can help you reap the benefits of the public cloud while mitigating the aforementioned risks. The MSP may also suggest an incorporating alternative strategy such as hybrid, multi or private cloud solutions which offer greater flexibility and may be a better fit for your business needs.


Falling into the hidden cost trap

If you do select the public cloud as the right environment for you, be sure to be mindful of unexpected costs that may arise and cause budgets to overrun. This could be due to a number of factors, such as too many staff people having access to spin up resources for projects that never get shut down or unexpected bursts of traffic causing huge bandwidth bills (perhaps a DDoS attack or something malicious, or a very successful marketing campaign etc.). It could also be due to over-provisioning or simply not having the skills or time to accurately manage the workload and server estate.


The key to avoiding wasted spending lies in accurately assessing your actual needs when provisioning cloud resources. Cloud providers typically offer monitoring tools that can help you track resource utilisation. By leveraging these tools, you can identify opportunities to optimise your resource allocation. Alternatively, you could consider using a managed service provider to correctly spec up and deploy your cloud resources.


The Private Cloud model with dedicated single-tenant hardware provides transparent, fixed monthly charges, which can also help businesses make informed decisions about their cloud migration strategy and ensure financial stability.


Managing multi-cloud complexity

The multi-cloud approach offers enticing benefits, such as more suitable services and effective billing with a flat rate for workloads in a private cloud environment and flexible pricing when bursting into the public cloud during peak traffic. However, these benefits come with a significant layer of complexity when managing to these environments. Unlike a single cloud, multi-cloud environments require additional data security considerations and general maintenance and administration of different cloud providers interfaces. This can be especially demanding for businesses without dedicated IT or cloud teams.


According to Gartner, in 2023, 81% of enterprises were working with two or more cloud providers. To ensure data security, navigate complexities, and maintain control in this environment, efficient management is crucial. Partnering with a managed service provider is one way of easing the burden. MSPs can act as a valuable extension of your internal IT team, offering expertise in managing multiple cloud platforms. This allows you to reap the benefits of multi-cloud without being restricted by management challenges.


Underestimating data privacy concerns

Data privacy concerns are also something for companies to consider during the cloud migration process. With stringent regulations like GDPR and CCPA governing data protection, overlooking privacy considerations can lead to legal and financial consequences. Only recently, Microsoft was hit with a $525 million fine over patent infringement.


Companies must carefully evaluate the sensitivity of the data being migrated and implement appropriate measures to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements. This may involve adopting encryption techniques, implementing access controls, and conducting regular audits to monitor data usage and ensure adherence to privacy policies. By prioritising data privacy from the outset, companies can avoid potential pitfalls and build a secure and compliant cloud environment.


Final thoughts

With essential benefits for business growth and modernisation, it’s no wonder that more than 90% of organisations now use the cloud, and 48% plan to migrate at least half their workloads in the next year. Through careful consideration of the different cloud options available, thorough planning, and the right support, cloud migration can be a transformative journey for businesses, unlocking not only competitive advantages but also fostering innovation possibilities.


Many organisations find that working with an MSP can ease the process of cloud migration and help with ongoing maintenance. MSPs help organisations avoid problems in their migration journey by offering expertise and support throughout the process, from planning and implementation to ongoing management and optimisation, ensuring a smooth transition while mitigating risks and maximising the benefits of cloud technology.

By Rupert Colbourne, Chief Technology Officer, Orbus Software.
By David Gammie, CTO, iomart.
By Brian Sibley, Solutions Architect, Espria.
By Lori MacVittie, F5 Distinguished Engineer.
By Adam Gaca, Vice President of Cloud Solutions at Future Processing.
By Adriaan Oosthoek, Chairman Portus Data Centers.
By Jo Debecker, Managing Partner and Global Head of Wipro FullStride Cloud.